While many Parisian leftists staunchly upheld Marxism's " scientificity " in the s and s, Lucien Goldmann insisted that Marxism was by then in severe crisis and had to reinvent itself radically if it were to survive. He rejected the traditional Marxist view of the proletariat and contested the structural Marxist movement. In fact, the popularity of such trends on the Left Bank was one reason why Goldmann's own name and work were eclipsed — this despite the acclaim of thinkers as diverse as Jean Piaget and Alasdair MacIntyre , who called him "the finest and most intelligent Marxist of the age. He refused to portray his aspirations for humanity's future as an inexorable unfolding of history's laws, but saw them rather as a wager akin to Blaise Pascal 's in the existence of God. He called his work "dialectical" and "humanist. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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The appeal to him of Pascal was natural; Pascal was both a believer and a scientist. A critic both of existentialism and of structuralism, Goldmann is portrayed by Cohen as the leading representative of Western Marxist humanism.
After all, he conceived socialist humanism as the culmination and not the annulment of Western culture. This study, which I recommend to all students of modern France as well as to my fellow pascalisants, is, of course, not essentially meant to be a biography.
Yet one sometimes finds oneself yearning for a more intimate portrait of Goldmann the man. Once he leaves his native Romania in the early s, he seems to become the classical Parisian academic intellectual with no real personality of his own.
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